Anthem Reduces Rate Increase

It was announced last week, February 14, that Anthem Blue Cross has agreed to lower their rate increase that was implemented earlier this month for California Health Insurance. The California Insurance Commissioner, Dave [custom_frame_left]Rate Decrease[/custom_frame_left]Jones said he merely asked them to lower their rates and they agreed. Currently, the Department of Insurance can only review proposed rate increases but has absolutely no authority to reject excessive increases. Health insurance carriers can implement rate increases without approval and has caused many Californians to go uninsured as it has become unaffordable. Most consumers of individual health insurance policies are those who are self employed, students and others who are simply seeking to pay less than their employers can provide.

This increase from the largest health insurance carrier in California was announced in late 2012 and members were receiving notifications in the mail as early as November.The rate increase took effect February 1, 2013 and was set for an average of 17.9% for all PPO products sold to individuals and families. After this agreement with Commissioner Jones they have reduced their rate increase to an average of 13.87% statewide. This increase was set to impact about 630,000 policyholders and the estimated total savings for these individuals will be close to $54 million. However, even with these higher rates, Anthem said they still expect to lose money because of the rising medical costs in the state.

Anthem Blue Cross has also announced that they will allow members who switched to a lower cost plan to switch back to their previous plan and those who cancelled their coverage because of the increase to re-enroll in the same plan without going through medical underwriting. For many this is still no solution. The upcoming federal healthcare laws will dramatically change how people buy their own health insurance coverage. Soon, people will be able to purchase coverage through a state-run exchange program and be able to check if they qualify for federal subsidies or state programs like Medi-Cal. As we learn more about the Healthcare Reform laws we will be sure to educate you with all the facts so you can make informed decisions about your insurance.

Self Employed Health Insurance in CA

People who are self-employed, independent contractors or small business owners have taken a leap of faith to maximize their opportunity. Being your own boss comes with many freedoms but it also comes with many risks. One of the biggest risks is not having the comfort of affordable health insurance benefits. Self employed health insurance is easy to find and can be purchased as an individual or family health insurance plan.

Self Employed Health Insurance Options

Many people who leave an employer are unsure about their benefits so they turn to COBRA. Coverage through COBRA is always a good option for those with pre-existing conditions that need to be insured. The downside to COBRA is that it is only temporary, usually 18 months. However, you are responsible to pay 100% of the cost as your former employer will no longer need to contribute. Which brings up another issue, cost! Can you afford to pay twice or three times the amount you are used to for the same health insurance coverage?

If you are like most people, the answer is “No”. Your best option is to buy an individual health insurance plan. As long as you and your family are in good health, it’s simply a matter of finding a policy that fits within your needs and budget.

Self Employed Health Insurance Plans

There are several self employed health insurance choices, which include:

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  • PPO Health Insurance
  • HMO Health Insurance
  • HSA Plans (Health Savings Account)


Tax Advantages of Self Employed Health Insurance

If you have self employment income, then it is a major advantage for your tax deductions! This includes expenses for yourself, your spouse, and all your dependents. However, you can only claim the health insurance premiums write-off for months when neither you nor your spouse were eligible to participate in a group health plan. Also, the deduction cannot exceed the earned income you collect from your business.

Finding the Right Self Employed Health Insurance

The best way to narrow down your options is to speak with one of our licensed Insurance Solutions professionals. We will provide expert advise and free quotes with no obligation.